Vote for the best F1 racing game series

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F1 2011 by Codemasters

F1 2011 by Codemasters

When asked to name the best F1 racing game of all time, F1 Fanatics nominated titles spanning 20 years of gaming.

But which was the best of all time?

Take a look at the most popular picks below and vote for your favourite.

Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix series

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEPcBwHexoU

Titles

Formula One Grand Prix (aka World Circuit) (PC, Amiga, Atari)
Grand Prix 2 (PC)
Grand Prix 3 and GP3-2000 (PC)
Grand Prix 4 (PC)

It’s hard to exaggerate how influential Geoff Crammond’s original 1991 Formula One Grand Prix series was on later F1 racing games. And, indeed, F1 game designers, who still refer back to the Grand Prix series as one of the finest example of F1 video games.

It was a somewhat idiosyncratic creation with an unusual physics engine and turn-based multiplayer system. But what was most endearing about the Grand Prix series was its sense of liberty – an aspect which feels refreshing if you fire up GP4 after spending some time in the more restrictive world of modern F1 games.

Here was a game you could treat as you please: as an easy arcade thrash with all the driving assists on, as a tricky simulation taking on a two-hour race at Monaco in the rain, or indulging in the mindless fun of 400mph closing speed crashes that split your car in two.

Surely the greatest sign of its lasting popularity it that people continue to play it and apply lovingly-detailed modifications almost a full decade since the last game was released.

And the intro music for the original game was The Chain. What more could you ask for?

It is just so much fun and so far, the most accurate F1 game I?ve ever played.

The physics seem to be unparalleled and the artificial intelligence actually provided close and exciting racing without being erratic and completely unpredictable (unlike the Codemasters games). With all of the assists off and the AI turned up to the max, it?s nail-biting stuff.

The thing I like about it is that if you make a single mistake and do something as simple as dropping a wheel on the grass, it?s the end of your race. It?s the only F1 game I?ve played where mistakes are correctly punished and the grass has the correct level of adhesion (basically none!). If you?ve not played it, you?re missing out.

Easily the best F1 game ever, in my opinion.
Damonsmedley

Formula One series – Bizarre Creations

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erWwKEiWqZs

Titles

Formula 1 (PlayStation, PC)
Formula 1 97 (aka Formula 1 Championship Edition) (PlayStation, PC)

Bizarre Creations only produced two Formula 1 games but the second of these – Formula 1 97 for the first-generation PlayStation – is surely the epitome of arcade-style console racing games.

Its colourful graphics and convincing impressions of the cars and tracks dazzled gamers. The pick-and-up-play simplicity it offered won it many admirers.

And the addition of commentary from Murray Walker and Martin Brundle – ITV’s F1 commentary duo at the time – cranked up the fun factor to 11.

Sure there have been plenty of F1 games released since with better graphics, physics, more immersive season modes.

But for whatever reason, none of these even come close to the sheer fun of playing Formula 1 97. So much so that it still gets a whirl in my PS3.
ajokay

Grand Prix Legends

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owMWF96SkPw

Grand Prix Legends (PC)

The awesome attention to detail in Grand Prix Legends’ depiction of the 1967 Formula 1 season was simply stunning, and more than made up for the fact that the game was excruciatingly difficult.

It was one of the first games to feature the full Nurburgring Nordschleife, and the Green Hell has never looked more fearsome than it has from the cockpit of a Lotus 49.

Grand Prix Legends was not a great commercial success for Papyrus, who had previously made IndyCar racing titles. But it has a hardcore following among racing simulator buffs and fans of historic racing in particular. Almost 15 years after it went on sale, the Grand Prix Legends community is still going strong.

Astonishingly, they have even modelled the 72km Targa Florio sports car track for it. And don’t miss this video of a true Grand Prix legend – Jackie Stewart – watching and talking about the game.

Not only it represents one of the golden eras of Formula 1, but it was so advanced when it was released. The graphics were pretty, the cars were astonishing, the sounds were epic, and the feel of the thing: on a class of its own.

Even nowadays it feels modern, nothing like the games of today. As if no one ever cared to design a simulator that accurate, and one has to remember Grand Prix Legends was released when PlayStation 1 was still the way to go for most gamers.

It?s without a shadow of doubt, the best F1 game I?ve ever played.
Fer no.65

F-1 World Grand Prix

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2QbDuqD_iM

Titles

F-1 World Grand Prix (Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Dreamcast, others)
F-1 World Grand Prix 2 (Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, others)

F-1 World Grand Prix, which first appeared on the Nintendo 64, is about as far from Grand Prix Legends as it’s possible to get.

But this short-lived series benefitted from some well thought-out and original ideas and is fondly remembered by many of those who played it first time around.

Among the most popular was the series of challenges that invited you to recreate famous moments from the 1997 season – such as Damon Hill almost winning the Hungarian Grand Prix in his Arrows.

F-1 World Grand Prix was one of my personal favourites. It was a genuine, tough and satisfying sim on a console which didn?t do racers that well.
Lin1876

Formula One series – Psygnosis/Studio 33/SCEE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rM0za9zjPdE

Titles

Formula One 99 (Playstation)
Formula One Arcade (PlayStation)
Formula One 2000 (PlayStation)
Formula One 2001 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One 2002 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One 2003 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One 04 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One 05 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One 06 (PlayStation 2)
Formula One Championship Edition (PlayStation 3)

After the departure of Bizarre Creations, and following an unloved 1998 game produced by Visual Science, the Formula 1 series for PlayStation passed into the hands of Psygnosis, which later became SCE Studio Liverpool. Their series of F1 games endured largely because Sony eventually obtained an exclusive licence – bad news for F1 fans without a PlayStation.

Although they stood accused of churning out games that were little changed beyond annual updates to the cars, drivers and tracks, they did boast some popular features such as unlock-able bonus circuits.

Early PS2 titles were notable for including DVD season reviews that were far better quality than the commercially-available video tapes. There were also versions of some of the games for hand held consoles.

F1 06 on the PS2 is in my opinion pretty underrated?? it has pretty good gameplay and a very clinical feel to it, which I always appreciate.
SouthPawRacer

EA Sports F1 games

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEchrVmDiks

Titles

F1 2000 (Playstation, PC)
F1 Championship Season 2000 (PlayStation 2, PC, others)
F1 2001 (Playstation 2, Xbox, PC)
F1 2002 (Playstation 2, Xbox, Gamecube, PC, others)
F1 Challenge ?99-?02 (aka F1 Career Challenge) (Playstation 2, Xbox, Gamecube, PC, others)

EA Sports’ series of F1 games is best remembered for its final instalment, which spanned four seasons from 1999 to 2002.

This proved a major hit with game modifiers, and has proved a popular platform for expansion. Unofficial packs have been produced for dozens of different seasons.

I enjoyed [F1 Challenge ?99-?02]: the graphics were quite realistic and the features were many.

You could drive the car in the pit lane; you could jump the start; you could lose a wheel and continue; you had all the sessions of a Grand Prix, a grid walk-through, mechanical failures, aggressive AIs (if you had a certain difficulty level ?ǣ admittedly, when you were alongside, they dived out of your way), AIs crashing, tyres wore out, fuel decreased, your speed increased as your fuel reduced and your traction decreased as your tyres wore out.
Fixy

rFactor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEPpmKqyxqs

rFactor (PC)

rFactor was among the first of the modern generation of racing games where much of the content is community-created.

There is plenty in the way of modern cars and tracks but one pack created by users which stands out is the superb 1979 season.

Being free of commercial restrictions, you can do pretty much as you please with it. So if you want to drive a 1979 Ligier JS11 on a combination of the modern Monza F1 track plus the old oval – you can (see video).

With rFactor you can pretty much race any season of F1 you can think of and has great physics to match with great sounds and fairly good graphics as well
Jeremy

Codemasters’ F1 2010 and F1 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Usjd9oSnjNA

Titles

F1 2010 (Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC)
F1 2011 (Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC, others)

F1 2011, the latest F1 game from Codemasters, brings the official series bang up-to-date with modern features such as DRS, KERS and even the appearance of the safety car.

Taking advantage of the capabilities of today’s hardware and exploiting the benefits of the FOM licence including access data supplied by the teams, virtual F1 has never looked better than in the latest title.

It’s hugely popular among F1 gamers online – that much is clear from the number of threads given over to it in the forum. The latest edition permits up to 16 people to race simultaneously.

F1 2010 and F1 2011 are the games I?ve enjoyed the most. They are the games which I?ve been the most engaging for me.

The thrill of taking tenths of your previous laps (yes, I?m sad) was just great and something that wasn?t as enjoyable in past F1 games. The Collantine Cup has also vastly increased my interest in the game.

I?d say F1 2011 is the best I?ve played simply because it has a bit more than F1 2010. However there are still many small problems which stop the game from being perfect.
Slr

Vote for the best F1 racing game series ever

Which of these is your favourite F1 game or Formula 1 series? Cast your vote below and explain your choice and tell us which of them you’ve played in the comments.

Which is the best F1 racing game / game series?

  • Geoff Crammond?s Grand Prix series (25%)
  • Formula One series ?ǣ Bizarre Creations (5%)
  • Grand Prix Legends (6%)
  • F-1 World Grand Prix (3%)
  • Formula One series ?ǣ Psygnosis/SCEE (6%)
  • EA Sports F1 games (8%)
  • rFactor (9%)
  • Codemasters? F1 2010 and F1 2011 (38%)

Total Voters: 508

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“But what about…?”

Where’s iRacing? What about Grand Prix Manager 2? How could you forget Super Monaco GP?

If your favourite F1 game is not listed above either it didn’t get nominated or it wasn’t popular enough.

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190 comments on Vote for the best F1 racing game series

  1. AndrewT (@andrewt) said on 20th February 2012, 18:17

    voted for rFactor, and really hope that rFactor2 will have some excellent F1 mods. the factory-mod Formula Classics 1960s is awesome, a tribute to Grand Prix Legends, a joy to drive.
    played F1 Challenge 99-02 for its decent mods year by year, but liked Grand Prix 4 maybe more. i was very hopeful for the Codemasters F1 201X, but although it looks absolutley breathtaking (never seen our beloved legendary F1 facilities in better quality before), but the casual-like feel of the control destroyed it for me.
    so, rFactor!

  2. Leftie (@leftie) said on 20th February 2012, 18:36

    Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix series. I’ve spent hundreds of hours playing every part, from first to fourth, made tons of mods for myself and the community as well.

    Codemasters products are great to play as well, but i just can’t save my game in the middle of the 100% race to continue it later, i can’t watch telemetry to compare my laps and to work on the fine details of my setups and can’t watch extensive stats after session and there’s no TV-style overlays, long replays, and real life camera positioning. It’s just immature all round, although nice to look at and to drive (though in terms of driving i think F1 2011 took a step back rather than forward). Give Crammond a decent graphic engine and a license for F1 game and nobody will remember Codemasters soon afterwards, i’m pretty sure about that.

  3. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 20th February 2012, 18:40

    Maybe I’m not the first one to notice this, but Legends is soo underrated in the poll results.

    It has the best physics engine ever, only iRacing comes close – both were programmed by the same lead guy, Dave Kaemmer.

    The closest thing you get to a real F1 car.

    I understand the underratedness in part as GPL covers F1’s heydays in the ’60s so unless a modern-day fanatic is interested in F1 history beyond the 2000s, those cars simply does not mean anything to him or her.

    I, personally, thought I found a diamond when I got to grips with the game last year – I’d kill to drive the old Kyalami or the Green Hell. The latter is truly the greatest challenge for a racing driver in any category, car, ever. It’s like Monaco, but tenfold in length. It’s undulating.

    • Bobdredds (@bobdredds) said on 20th February 2012, 19:00

      I actually voted Legends because of the reasons you mention even though I played more of EA’s F12002 and still do occasionally. I have codemasters GRID and its fun but it is mainly an arcade style of playing. If you are looking for a realistic experience you have to have more than just a good game. In my view you need a decent pc and a decent steering wheel minimum. I started playing racing games on consoles and then I bought a wheel for my playstation and everything changed. A friend suggested I should try gaming on a pc. I did and I have never looked back. Several wheels later, including 2 logitech momo wheels raced to destruction, I am still using a pc as my gaming device. Consoles are convienient, portable and affordable but the ultimate gaming rig needs to be pc based IMHO.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 20th February 2012, 19:00

      @atticus-2 It is a marvellous game but it is quite niche – exemplified by the poor sales and lack of a sequel. Sorely tempted to dust off my old copy though.

    • Sam Binfield said on 20th February 2012, 20:45

      I love GPL too but be serious now. GPL’s physics engine was revolutionary at the time, but is now quite old hat. rFactor and its gmotor2 relatives all have better physical modelling than GPL, especially in relation to tyres. The aero in GPL was particuarly basic. rFactor 2, iRacing, and I believe Assetto Corsa all have mathematical tyre models, rather than the old magic forumla models, and are moving things on again. Part of the reason GPL was so difficult was due to its tyre model giving incorrect outputs at low speed (relative to reality) and thus having an incorrect level of grip in certain situations.

      IMO these little warts are what give the sim its charm, just like the old cars modelled in it. Don’t want to start an argument or anything, I’m just trying to point out that GPL’s physics engine is certainly no longer the best.

  4. Gavac220 (@gavac220) said on 20th February 2012, 19:39

    I started with Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix, and followed it through all it’s incarnations. I used to hook up my Atari to my friends, for LAN games with hours of real time races.
    As I progressed to my first PC of any note (Intel P60), I found as I updated it, I bought the latest F1 title on the market. I’ve played them all bar Codemasters F1 2012, as I’m still happily banging in the laps in 2011. I’ve enjoyed all the games for one reason or another, but Crammond lead the way, and brought a true feeling of an F1 race in your hands. If only he could of got together with Codemasters now, to gel the modern graphics to his incredible attention to detail when it came to physics and game feel.

  5. Ubisoft’s F1 Racing Championship (F1RC) was nice too. Have played this game a lot in the past. It was one of the first (if not THE first) with GPS modelled tracks. Downside was that track layouts presumably couldn’t be edited so fans could not keep the game up to date. Newest track in the game is Sepang so you can say it’s a little old now.

    • Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 20th February 2012, 20:30

      I seem to remember that F1 Racing Championship varied enormously depending on your platform, and I also know they were largely based on the unlicensed Monaco Grand Prix.

      I played both on N64 are they’re decent enough, but F1RC really felt like Monaco GP with the 1999 license and some bug fixes. That didn’t stop it from being a fundamentally good game though, although like the Codemasters games they had some pretty glaring faults (although, unlike Codemasters games, they are perhaps forgiveable based on the hardware of 1999/2000).

  6. jobymcanuff (@jobymcanuff) said on 20th February 2012, 20:17

    Just out of interest why is Formula 1 98 so badly rated and remembered ? It was the first F1 game I ever played so I have fond memories of it.

    • Lin1876 (@lin1876) said on 20th February 2012, 20:25

      I think many people at the time were expecting another game in the line of F1 ’97, which it wasn’t.

      I found the SCEE games suffered from a lack of personality, and just weren’t made with the same passion as F-1WGP, Grand Prix Legends, etc. They’re not bad games, they’re just not as good as the rest in my view,

  7. As I said in the Forums I’ve played only three games: F1 Challenge ’99-’02, F1 2010 and F1 2011.

    I honestly love F1 Challenge (I still play many different mods today – the orginal as well), but here we are voting for a series, and I know the previous EA Sports games were far worse than F1C.
    I saw some of Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix games but I decided F1C, which I had, was better.
    I think rFactor, having tried it a few times, was an improved copy of F1 Challenge, but not better enough for me to enjoy it – actually, I preferred F1C.
    F1 Challenge gives you far more freedom than Codemasters’ games: I won’t copy my lengthy post from the “What was the best F1 racing game?” thread (which I linked to above) but if you read it you’ll find it’s a really great game. The video in the article shows little of the capabilities of the game, only by playing it can you really appreciate it. I’ve done so for years now, it was the first F1 game I ever played and despite it being old now I still love it.
    It’s true, I haven’t tried many F1 games but my vote definitely goes to the EA Sports series.

  8. I was going to vote the Geoff Crammond series, at it WAS fantastic stuff.

    Then I remembered how it would go if I picked it up again: I’d realize that the world has moved on since, and I’d smash my fantastic memories with realism.

    If you love something ancient, and want to keep the fond memories, never, ever EVER pick it up again. You’ll be sorely disappointed.

    While I’m sure I had more fun with GC’s sims at the time, I’m also sure that Codemaster’s realism is much more precise today, so F1 2010/2011 gets my vote.

    If iRacing was there*, it would get my vote by far, though!

    * Since it doesn’t have a proper F1 season, and (I think) less than 1/8 of the tracks, it is rather fair that it isn’t.

    • Ok, iRacing has 3 current tracks: Silverstone, Suzuka and Spa.

      If it hasn’t changed this season, Silverstone is still using the old configuration, though.

      • George (@george) said on 20th February 2012, 23:31

        They would have to re-scan it, so it’s unlikely to happen in the near future. They do have quite a few former F1 tracks like Zandvoort, Brands, Watkins Glen, Aida, Indy (might have forgotten some) though.

        • LosD (@losd) said on 21st February 2012, 0:26

          Oh yeah, it’s no small task, and good on them for not skipping corners.

          But that, and the single F1 car, still makes it a far cry from being a F1 game (which there is absolutely nothing wrong, they just have other priorities).

  9. Rodrrico (@rodrrico) said on 20th February 2012, 21:35

    Rfactor is the definitive sim racer from this list. While the visuals are getting on a bit, the physics are second to none here. Sadly most have clearly voted on their lack of knowledge of these games and basing them on visual looks.

    Second would have to be GP4 (Grand Prix 4) and then closely followed by Grand Prix Legends (GPL). The others are just not even on the scale of these three beauties. However the Murry Walker and James Allen collection have the best sounds :P

  10. ElBasque (@elbasque) said on 20th February 2012, 21:44

    Damn it! I just remembered “Team F1″ management sim for the PC. I think it may have had another name too, it was translated from german and covered the mid-90’s somewhere.

    Loved the immersion and stress of getting your cars rebuilt from race to race and managing the books etc. I still have the disc!

  11. Gavkiwi said on 20th February 2012, 22:17

    My experience with F1 games dates back to ‘Monaco GP’ in the early 80s on a sega sc-3000. Since then its pretty safe to say I have played EVERY (decent) F1 game ever created. I skipped the crap ones, and read F1 game reviews religously in gaming mags. Some highlights that stick out, is seeing Sega’s Monaco GP in a gaming mag in the late 80s showing off the amazing graphics, I never got a chance to play this game at an arcade, but I did eventually play it with MAME arcade emulator in the early 2000s and by then the game was an antique.

    But I remember how good the game looked in magazines, and the Amiga version for Super Monaco GP was crap, and the master system and mega drive/genesis versions were just as bad also.

    Another memory that sticks in my head, is mid 1992. Leaving school that day, and coming home to find after months of waiting Geoff Crammonds F1GP. I remember the first car I chose after correcting the drivers fake names in the game to the real F1 names of 1991 was taking a McLaren Honda out on to suzuka. And I played that game for a good 2-3 years. Then GP2 came out in 1996, and made me realize my current PC equipment was out of date, and did an upgrade, the game ran better, but that game was such a system hog, this to me has to be my favorite PC F1 game of all time, the customizing of both the helmets and the car skins, heck, even the billboards around the track, I loved GP2, I still have the disc, not that I would ever waste time playing it now-a-days. Sure the nostalgia is great, but the game is no good compared with modern games.

    The fact that a game released in 1996, had cars from 2 seasons ago (would be unheard of now) but the game was in development for so long. Thats the only game I played a full season. Soo much fun, now its been 15/16 years, and I still vividly remember some of the wild events that happened in those races, I recall an 80 lap race at Aida, I was driving Alesi’s Benetton B196 and Villeneuves Williams that led the entire race, his engine blew with one lap to go, allowing me to win the race. Classic stuff.

    I recall Nigel Mansells GP, I loved my Williams Honda’s back then, but even in the late 80s, the game was no good.
    Grand Prix Circuit by accolade was an F1 game with the test drive gaming engine. For its time it was fun, but today the graphics are laughable.
    GPL, I remember this game, I have never been that good at it, would always crash or spin out. It was hardcore!
    F1C 99-02. I loved this game also, but ironically I played more sportscar/lemans style mods for this game than F1 related racing.
    rFactor. I have been playing this game off and on for the last 7 years, this is right up there with my favorite F1 games of all time. As well as other amazing mods.
    Continental Circus was a fun arcade conversion by Taito in the late 80s, got this game for xmas one year for my amiga.
    Finally, I bought F12010 and sold it a few mths later after not touching it for months. I now have F12011 and like it more than F12010, by no means is it perfect, but its good enough. If I actually list ALL the F1 games i’ve played, the overall # is quite scary. I even played Ferrari F1 on the amiga in 1989/90. I loaded that game up not long ago on an amiga emulator, my God, That game is horrid now-a-days. Some things are better left in the past!

  12. Tommo N7 (@tommothfc) said on 20th February 2012, 22:28

    Can not feasibly understand how the Codemasters series is leading so far. I’m assuming most who voted haven’t played the older one. F1 97 got my vote. I remember spending hours on it back on the old PSOne.

  13. durbster (@durbster) said on 20th February 2012, 22:38

    Crammond’s GP series is what got me interested in F1 in the first place, but the accolade for greatest ever MUST go to Grand Prix Legends. It survived better than almost any game ever released because it was astonishingly good. The first racing game that made you really work to get on. This meant the rewards for succeeding were monumental.

  14. Anti-RBR (@matt2208) said on 20th February 2012, 22:43

    And Ayrton Senna, Super Monaco GP II.

  15. LifeW12 (@lifew12) said on 20th February 2012, 23:03

    How can no-one be voting for GPL that’s one of the best sims of all time and it was released nearly 15 years ago and its still running strong.

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